Isotope found in seabed sediment points to clash of solar bodies near Mars, study suggestsAstronomers have discovered intriguing evidence that an asteroid break-up blanketed Earth with dust millions of years ago. The event dramatically cooled the planet and triggered an ice age that was followed by major increases in numbers of new animal species.
The work, led by Birger Schmitz of Lund University in Sweden, was recently published in Science Advances and provides new insight into the impact of interplanetary events on our planet’s evolution. “We know about the 10km asteroid that crashed on Earth 67 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs, but this event was very different,” Schmitz told the Observer. “It occurred about 470 million years ago when an asteroid 3,000 times bigger than the dinosaurs-killer was destroyed during a collision with another asteroid beyond the orbit of Mars. It filled the solar system with dust and caused a major dimming of sunlight falling on Earth.”